Jesus's Words

Chapter 3: Paul Disbelieved.—Neither His Divine Commission nor His Inward Conversion Ever Credited by the Apostles or Their Jerusalem Disciples.—Source of Proof Stated

back  |  next

Section 4: Topics Under His Several Jerusalem Visits:

Visit III. —Deputation Visit

Of the occasion, and particulars, and termination, of the third of these four visits, we have two, and but two, accounts: one—that given in the Acts; the other—that given by Paul himself, as above, in his letter to his Galatians: that in the Acts, the only one which goes into particulars; and which must accordingly be taken for the basis of the narrative, and in that character be brought to view in the first instance: that given by Paul himself confining itself to generals; but, as far as it goes, much more to be depended upon, and affording much more instruction, than that given in the Acts.

Among its immediate consequences, this third visit appears to have had some sort of intercourse between Paul and Saint Peter at Antioch—the next most considerable seat of the new religion after Jerusalem; at Antioch, to which city, Paul,—who, with Barnabas, had been settled there,—was on his return: Peter being then on a temporary visit, made to that place, for the final settlement of the business, by which the last preceding visit of Paul to Jerusalem had been occasioned.

At the time of this visit, the residence of Paul was at this same Antioch. The occasion of it was—the dissemination there, of a doctrine, which, by certain persons not named, had been imported thither from Jerusalem: a doctrine, according to which it was taught to the brethren—Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.Acts 15:1 For the settlement of this important matter,—Barnabas, with Paul for his companion, besides other companions not named, was, by the brethren at Antioch, now, for the second time, sent, as a delegate, to the brethren at Jerusalem.

On every one of these three visits, it was under the protection of this Barnabas (it will be seen) that Paul had presented himself:—on the first of them, for the purpose of making known his conversion, and, if possible, forming a connection with the brethren there;—the second, for the purpose of bringing them money, the fruits of the respect and affection of the brethren at Antioch;—the third time, for the settlement of this important point of doctrine. As for Barnabas, he was a Cypriot, who, as will be seen, had an establishment at Jerusalem: and who, by his indefatigable zeal, added to his unrivalled munificence, appears to have obtained an influence not exceeded by any but that of the Apostles.

Of this same Deputation Visit, being the third of the recorded visits of Paul to Jerusalem,—followed by, and coupled with, one of Peter to Antioch(See Galatians 2:11.) —the place of Paul's residence,—two most important results, or alleged results, are mentioned: the first, mentioned by the author of the Acts alone, the decree, of a council, composed of the Apostles and certain other persons, by the name of Elders, at Jerusalem;—which decree, together with a letter, was from thence sent by the hands of Judas Barsabas and Silas, to the brethren at Antioch; Paul and Barnabas being of the party, on their return to that same place: the other result, mentioned by Paul alone, a sort of partition treaty, by which the field of doctrinal labour, and thence of spiritual dominion was divided between him, (Paul), on the one part, and the Apostles on the other. The Jewish world, for a less ambiguous designation would hardly find a sufficient warrant, to remain with the Apostles; the Gentile world, to be left free to the exertions of the declared convert and self-constituted Apostle. As to the decree and letter, reasons for questioning the authenticity of these documents will be hereinafter brought to view, Chaption 6. Of the partition treaty, the reality presents itself as altogether natural and probable—and, by circumstantial as well as direct evidence, sufficiently established: by direct evidence supported, by circumstantial evidence confirmed.

back  |  next